Mount Rushmore Lesson Plans Now Available

by Blaine Kortemeyer
November 8, 2012
This article is written by special guest blogger Blaine Kortemeyer. Blaine works as the Assistant Chief of Interpretation and Education as well as being one of the Preservation Team members for Mount Rushmore National Memorial.



Four Geometry, Math and Art teachers from the Hill City and Custer County School District collaborated with National Park Service Interpretive and Education Rangers and CyArk to create 10 interdisciplinary K-12 lesson plans for educators, parents, students, and the general public. These plans are now available free from the CyArk website. The lesson plans numbered 17 – 26 in the CyArk lesson plan database, feature hands-on and computer based activities aligned to National Common Core Standards. Everything needed to teach a lesson is available for download in a compressed folder. Teacher background, activity preparation information, slideshows, and student sheets are all included.

Complete Art and Geometry curriculum strains were created using the 3D laser scans and high definition two dimensional images of Mount Rushmore National Memorial which can both be found from the National Park Service’s web site and the CyArk Mount Rushmore Digital Preservation site. These curriculum strains offer interdisciplinary learning progression from Kindergarten – 12th grade. We are very excited to open up a new chapter in educational opportunities for our nation’s children.

Hill City School District was Geometry and Math teachers Ken Raga and Rick Hamilton, K -12 Art teacher Lori Jones and Custer County School District Geometry teacher Kathy Bradeen made up the curricula creation team.

The unique relationship between Math and Art becomes apparent within the curriculum. As Kindergarten students begin to learn about shapes, they start to see these shapes within the sculpture and everywhere within their world. As these same students grow, they learn to find the 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional areas and volumes of these shapes; and as high school Geometry students, they are able to separate the Sculpture into a series of 3D shapes to find its composite mass and weight.

High School, Math, Art, and English students use their knowledge of scale and proportion to make their own version of “Mount Rushmore” in any solid medium. The students then write and deliver a persuasive paper defending their choices of who they would place on their “Mount Rushmore”.

The inspiration of Mount Rushmore National Memorial will help make learning fun for these students.

An official press release is also available.

Elementary students learn geometry principles with an interactive 3D model of Mount Rushmore.